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The 3 D's of Dance Excellence

by Susie & Gert-Jan Rotschid


What is the difference between an excellent dancer and an average dancer? It is usually not natural ability – very few of us have that. Usually the difference is dissatisfaction, determination, and doing.

The first step to better dancing is to be dissatisfied with how you are dancing at the moment. To be dissatisfied does not mean that you think you are "awful," but that you see and realize there is room for improvement. Then you even go a step further by wanting to improve. That is when you can progress to the next step, which is determination. And this is where most of us start to falter and fail.

I remember a story told to me of a man talking to a concert pianist. The man said, "I'd do anything to play the piano like you do." The pianist answered the man saying, "No you wouldn't, for if you would really do anything, you would play like I do." That is what it really is all about, isn't it? How bad do you really want to improve? Is it enough to do something about it? Is it enough to practice until you are satisfied? Are we determined enough to look to find ways to learn more and to do better, even if it takes time and money? Remember, the only person who can "make" you a better dancer is yourself. It is a personal commitment. This is where your determination needs to turn into doing. You will need to find, stick to, and yet still be continually searching for ways to improve yourself.

I'd like to end with a quote from Jeff & Barb Grossman: "Never lose sight of the fact that excellence is a measure of quality, not dance level. Over the years I've come across a small number of dancers who prided themselves on dancing phase VI rounds, yet they could not dance 2 Turning Two Steps with the grace and precision of many dancers who never went beyond phase II. These phase VI dancers were high-level dancers, but by no means were (they) good dancers. Remember: you do NOT have to dance at a high level to dance well."

From an article in Round Dancer Magazine, October 1992.



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If you would like to read other articles on dance position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, you may visit the article TOC.



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